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Title: Labour market institutions in the Brazilian variety of capitalism since 2003 : evidence from the construction industry
Author: O'Connor, M. G.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 2107
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2016
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This research project seeks explanations for an inconsistency between onerously-regulated, stable labour market institutions (LMIs) and everyday employment in the Brazilian variety of capitalism. The study adopts a new institutionalist approach and findings are based upon qualitative research on industrial relations in the construction industry. A key focus of the thesis is upon dynamic institutional interactions, known as complementarities, and their influence upon political processes relevant to labour. This aims to contribute to the understanding of institutional change and continuity during a key juncture in Brazilian development; a period of sustained economic growth and stability, accompanied by falling poverty and inequality under a Workers’ Party (PT) government since 2003. Chapter 1 introduces the new institutionalist approach and why it offers the most appropriate methodological set of tools to address the research problem. Chapter 2 discusses the relevance of the historical period analysed (2003-2015) and discusses the Brazilian variety of capitalism in light of the coordinated, hierarchical and liberal models. Chapter 3 traces the history of LMIs in Brazil and finds an embedded historical legacy still influential in the contemporary workplace. Chapters 4-6 enter into the construction industry case study element of the thesis with chapter 4 an exploratory analysis of employment relations. Networks of mistrust are identified as a source of the inconsistency between the regulated LMI system and reality of employment. Labour representation and regulation are identified as two key issues analysed in more detail in the remaining two chapters (5 and 6). From a new institutional perspective, explanations for the inconsistency identified are found to be related to a composite set of interrelated factors with historical, informal, formal and rational choice elements. The research findings address more reductionist and static accounts as well as some popular misconceptions on the Brazilian LMI system. Within comparative capitalisms debates, Schneider (2013) categorises the Latin American institutional model as hierarchical. A further aim of this research is to extend upon this model with an analysis of LMIs in the Brazilian variety of capitalism. Brazil, in its stable and influential trade union institutions is argued to represent a variation of Schneider’s hierarchical market economy.
Supervisor: Haagh, Louise Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Brazil ; case study ; employment ; government ; economic growth ; industrial relations ; inequality ; labour market ; poverty ; qualitative research ; regulation ; trust